PALO, Leyte: The number of recovered wildlife increased significantly upon the opening earlier this year of a rescue center in Cadahug village in this town, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reported.
From only five rescued animals in the previous years, the number has risen to 40 this year.
The rescue center, which opened on March 3, is intended to house wildlife species.
The facility is also open to educational tours and family trips..
Carlito Tuballa, DENR assistant regional director, said more wildlife in search of food or after the destruction of their natural habitats have been found in communities here.
“After rescue, our personnel check the health condition of these animals before releasing them back to the wild,” Tuballa told the Philippines News Agency.
DENR development management officer Winston Solite said the increase in the number of animals turned over to the department indicates heightened public awareness of the value of preserving wildlife.
Pythons are among the most rescued species.
Recently, 15 pythons were confiscated from the house of alleged top drug lord Kerwin Espinosa in Albuera, Leyte.
“The number of animals being surrendered here is increasing. Most of them are pythons, I don’t know why, but maybe because of the rainy season,” Solite said.
The rescue center provides quarantine and care to the animals, depending on their health condition.
A veterinarian, the center’s caretaker, monitors the condition of each animal daily.
Animals with stable health conditions are then released back to their natural habitat, preferably in protected areas of the region.
A seagull and three pythons were released in Mahagnao Natural Park in Burauen, Leyte; two pythons in Lake Danao, Ormoc City; two owls in Babatngon, Leyte; and two pythons in Barugo, Leyte.
On Friday, the DENR released five pythons, two lizards and six parrots within the Samar Island Natural Park in Hinabangan town.